Pinns get that winning feeling

The Penticton Tim Hortons Pinnacles snapped a five-game winless streak against Vancouver United FC

Keeper Travis Froehlic of the Penticton Tim Hortons Pinnacles fights off Alex Orasa of Vancouver United FC to make one of his many critical saves in the Pinnacles 5-3 win over the visitors at King's Park

Keeper Travis Froehlic of the Penticton Tim Hortons Pinnacles fights off Alex Orasa of Vancouver United FC to make one of his many critical saves in the Pinnacles 5-3 win over the visitors at King's Park



A 5-3 win against Vancouver United FC gave the Tim Hortons Pinnacles a split in Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier men’s division play.

The Pinnacles opened the weekend with a 5-2 loss to Khalsa Sporting Club at Kings Park Saturday. Scoring for the Pinnacles were James Fraser and Isaac Koch.

Both players contributed to the offence again on Sunday, when the team took a different approach that helped the Pinnacles earn their third win of the season.

“We kind of went out today with the mindset to just let’s go have fun. Let’s just play for each other,” said Fraser, who scored a goal on a penalty shot and set up another. “Go out there and give it all we got. Not worry about any pressure or the league. We got a good result out of it. I’m feeling a streak. I’m predicting a streak.”

In the opening minutes of the match, the Pinnacles generated a chance, but couldn’t finish. Near the five-minute mark, Vancouver United FC  scored the opening goal, but Bjorn Borren tied it for the Pinnacles, who allowed one more late in the half.

In the second half, the Pinnacles evened the score at two on a play started by Koch. Taking a feed while on the run, Koch used his speed to get to the net where he was taken down in the box. That led to Fraser’s penalty shot goal. The Pinnacles then took a 3-2 lead that started on a corner kick. After the kick was made, a Van United FC defender headed the ball out of harms way. Except that Xavier Araujo was positioned perfectly and made a decision to boot it.

“It had enough top spin to get on target. As soon as I hit it I knew it was going to go,” said Araujo, who now has two goals on the season. “There’s just that feeling when you hit it right. That’s definitely in the net.”

Araujo’s marker was followed by a goal by Koch, who took a nice thread pass by Fraser.  Jason Stagger celebrated his birthday by finishing off a cross pass by Mitch Popadynetz to make it 5-3.

“It was a nice win after so many losses,” said Pinnacles coach Paulo Araujo, whose team was winless in five games. “Hopefully we can build on this. Finish the year pretty respectful for the first year in the Premier.”

The difference in play for the Pinnacles from the first to second half came down to moving the ball quicker.

“We were able to use our speed which we got on the outside from Isaac and Bjorn to get in,” he said. “It makes it difficult for the defenders to defend.”

Along with Koch having a big game for the Pinnacles, so did Fraser and keeper Travis Froehlich. The Pinnacles have been using Fraser in his true position as a centre forward and it paid off. They had been using him as a centre back, since they don’t have one. However, Araujo decided to use James Taylor in that spot and moved Fraser up. Froehlich had a few big saves, including one on a penalty shot in the opening half when the score was 1-1.

The Pinnacles were without veteran Randy Hubber, who suffered a hip injury against Khalsa Sporting Club. He will receive treatment and it is hoped he will be able to return to action this weekend when the Pinnacles host Victoria Highlanders FC at Kings Park at 4 p.m. The Pinnacles then hit the road Sunday to face Khalsa Sporting Club at Queen’s Park East.